News headlines January 23 2017

Amina’s AU bid to cost more than Sh300m: The government has spent more than Sh300 million in crisscrossing the continent to campaign for Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed’s bid to become the next chairperson of the African Union. Ms Mohamed, with the backing of President Kenyatta, his deputy William Ruto and the executive, launched her bid for the coveted AU post last year and has since campaigned for support in more than 50 countries across the continent. Education Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i who chairs the Cabinet Committee on the candidature of Amb. Mohamed told a press conference in Nairobi today that the government has already visited 50 African states at an estimated cost of Sh300 million. Dr Matiang’i said the amount was the original budget for the campaign but admitted that it has since been surpassed.

Doctors strike: Frantic efforts to secure deal as court deadline nears: Talks to end the doctors’ strike were due to resume today in what appeared to be last frantic efforts to strike a deal as a deadline imposed by the court nears. The two-week deadline issued by the High Court for the Kenya Medical Practitioners, Pharmacists and Dentists (KMPDU) Union to finalise talks with the government and call of their strike lapses on Thursday. The doctors’ union officials risk going to jail for a month if they fail to call off the strike by Thursday. Health Cabinet Secretary Cleopa Mailu says he had called the doctors for talks on their contentious Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) as parties seek to reach a deal.

More women serving robbery with violence prison terms than men, new report says: A majority of Kenyans serving robbery with violence prison sentences are women, a new report states. The report by the National Council on Administrative Justice and other stakeholders released today says more women are in prison for robbery with violence contrary to popular belief that men are common perpetrators of the crime. “Surprisingly more women are in prison for robbery with violence and property compared to men,” Executive director of Legal Resource Foundation Janet Munywoki who presented the key findings of the report said. The report also found out that more women at 49 percent are charged with criminal offences as compared to men at 32 percent. Overall, it found the whole criminal justice system largely skewed against the poor with 70 percent of poor people found to have been arrested and charged in court compared to only 30 percent of rich people.

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